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1974 Toronto Tomahawks

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National Lacrosse League (1974)

Born: 1974 – NLL founding franchise
Moved: Postseason 1974 (Boston Bolts)

Arena: Maple Leaf Gardens

Team Colors:

Owner: Bruce Norris

Nations Cup Championships: None


The Toronto Tomahawks were a professional box (indoor) lacrosse that lasted for just one season in the National Lacrosse League of the 1970’s. The team played 20 home dates at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1974 on a spring/summer schedule. The Tomahawks finished in 5th place in the six-team NLL with a 17-23 record. They missed the playoffs.

Bruce Norris, owner of the NHL Detroit Red Wings, owned the Tomahawks. In September 1974 he announced the club would not return to Toronto in 1975. In a confusing sequence of events, Norris bought the NLL’s championship Rochester Griffins franchise and moved the club to the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Norris’ abandoned Toronto Tomahawks franchise moved to Boston under new ownership where it became the Boston Bolts. Norris then changed the name of the Griffins to the Long Island Tomahawks for the 1975 season. Some press accounts of the time mistakenly (but understandably) referred to the Long Island Tomahawks as the relocated Toronto club.

The National Lacrosse League went out of business in February 1976 after two seasons of play.

We’ve been searching without success for years for any memorabilia from the Toronto Tomahawks to add to this site. Email [] if you can contribute.


In Memoriam

Toronto Tomahawks owner Bruce Norris died of liver failure on January 1, 1986 at the age of 61. New York Times obituary.



National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs




Written by Drew Crossley

December 24th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

1974 Rochester Griffins


Rochester GriffinsNational Lacrosse League (1974)

Born: 1974 – NLL founding franchise.
Moved: 1975 (Long Island Tomahawks)

Arena: Rochester War Memorial

Team Colors:

Owners: Tad Potter & Tom Potter

Nationas Cup Champions: 1974


The box game combines the best features of outdoor field lacrosse with elements of basketball, hockey, soccer and thermonuclear holocaust.” – Ron Reid of Sports Illustrated, covering the 1974 NLL championship series between the Rochester Griffins and Philadelphia Wings.

The Rochester Griffins were the class of the National Lacrosse League during the circuit’s debut season in the summer of 1974.  The team played a fast break style under the direction of coach Morley Kells and advanced to the league championship series against the only team better in the regular season – the Philadelphia Wings.  The Griffins took the best-of-seven series in six games, winning the title at home at the Rochester War Memorial before a sparse gathering of 2,525 fans.  Somebody dug up a fantastic full broadcast of Game Six from local Philadelphia television and posted it on YouTube – check it out below.

The crowds – or lack thereof – were a problem in Rochester all season.   Out of town owners Tad and Tom Potter, investors in the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins franchise, threatened to move the team before the season was even out.  At the end of the year, the Potters sold out to Detroit Red Wings owner Bruce Norris, who moved the championship club down to Long Island, where they were known as the Long Island Tomahawks in 1975.  The National Lacrosse League folded after the 1975 season.


Rochester Griffins Memorabilia


Griffins Video




Only Fans Were A Myth“, Ron Reid, Sports Illustrated, October 7, 1974

National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs


1974-1975 Montreal Quebecois

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Montreal Quebecois LacrosseNational Lacrosse League (1975)

Born: 1974 – NLL founding franchise.
Folded: February 1976.

Arena: The Montreal Forum (16,544)

Team Colors:

Owner: Nelson Stoll & John Ferguson

Nations Cup Championships: None


The Montreal Quebecois lacrosse team was one of six founding members of the National Lacrosse League in 1974.  The NLL was a summer-season operation that played indoor lacrosse on wooden floors in NHL and minor league hockey arenas.  The other five cities in the league in 1974 were Maryland, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse and Toronto.

Originally the Quebecois were going to be a joint venture between Quebec investors Nelson Stoll and John Ferguson along with Sydney Salomon, owner of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.  Shortly before the inaugural season began though, Stoll and Ferguson bought out Salomon’s 50% interest to make the Quebecois into a fully locally-owned franchise.  Ferguson was a former Montreal Canadiens ice hockey star who won five Stanley Cups during his 12-year career with the NHL team from 1959 to 1971.  Ferguson was pressed into coaching the Quebecois during the 1974 season when the club’s original hire, Bill Bradley, had a change of heart and decided he wanted to play only and not manage the team.

The Quebecois’ top player was John Davis, who finished 2nd in the league in scoring in 1974 (78 goals, 105 assists) and 3rd in 1975 (79 goals, 129 assists).

In 1975, future U.S. National Soccer Team head coach Bruce Arena played for the Quebecois.

During the 1975 season, the Quebecois acquired a provincial rival when the NLL’s Syracuse Stingers franchise moved to Quebec City and became Les Caribous de Quebec.  The Quebecois and the Caribous met in the Nations Cup championship series in September 1975, with the Caribous upsetting Montreal 4 games to 2.   The games drew large crowds in both cities, but they also proved to be the final lacrosse matches ever staged by the NLL.  The league folded in February 1976 after membership dwindled to only three viable clubs.


Montreal Quebecois Memorabilia




1974 Montreal Quebecois Regular Season Final Statistics



It Was Provincial Indeed” – October 6, 1975 Sports Illustrated coverage of the 1975 NLL Nations Cup final.

National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs


Written by AC

March 10th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

1974-1975 Maryland Arrows


Maryland ArrowsNational Lacrosse League (1974-1975)

Born: 1974 – NLL founding franchise.
Folded: February 1976

Arena: The Capital Centre (17,500)

Team Colors:


Nations Cup Championships: None


The Maryland Arrows were an indoor (box) lacrosse team that was active for both seasons of the short-lived National Lacrosse League (1974-1975.)  The NLL went out of business in February 1976 before a third season could be staged.  The Arrows were reportedly ready and willing to continue on, but there weren’t enough viable teams and the Arrows faded into history with the rest of the league.

Maryland ArrowsWhile they lasted the Arrows featured one of the greatest lacrosse players of the era in Paul Suggate.  Suggate easily led the NLL in scoring in 1974 with a ridiculous 115 goals and 124 assists in only 40 games.  That was over 50 points ahead of the league’s second leading scorer.  In 1975 he finished 2nd to Doug Hayes of the Long Island Tomahawks and was overall the greatest scorer in the National Lacrosse League’s brief history.

Americans of the 1970’s weren’t all that familiar with box lacrosse and the NLL wasn’t shy about marketing the sport’s hockey-style violence to get them through the turnstiles.  The Arrows’ radio commercials featured a voiceover endorsement from Attila the Hun.  The team’s mascot was a Neanderthal goon named Crunch Crosscheck (see logo above right).  A fight-filled June 1975 game against the Philadelphia Wings at the Capital Centre in Landover included a wild bench-clearing brawl and the spectacle of Wings’ players Carm Collins, Larry Lloyd and Zeny Lipinski allegedly beating a group of Arrows fans with their lacrosse sticks.  13 Arrows and 12 Wings players were later fined by Commissioner Gerry Patterson and Collins, Lloyd and Lipinsky were charged with assault and battery by the local state’s attorney.


Maryland Arrows Memorabilia


Arrows Video

1975 Maryland Arrows Documentary



National Lacrosse League Programs

Attila Gives His Approval“, Joe Jares, Sports Illustrated, June 3, 1974

Two Ways To Stick It To ’em” Larry Keith, Sports Illustrated, July 7, 1975




Written by AC

March 10th, 2014 at 2:54 am

1975 Long Island Tomahawks


Long Island TomahawksNational Lacrosse League (1975)

Born: 1975 – The Rochester Griffins relocate to Long Island, NY
Folded: February 1976.

Arena: Nassau Coliseum (14,300).

Team Colors:

Owner: Bruce Norris

Nations Cup Championships: None


The Long Island Tomahawks were a pro box lacrosse team that played at Nassau Coliseum in the summer of 1975.  The team’s ancestry is a little convoluted.  Owner Bruce Norris, who also owned the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, was an original investor in the National Lacrosse League.  During the league’s first season in 1974, Norris owned the league’s Toronto Tomahawks franchise.  The Tomahawks floundered at Maple Leaf Gardens and the team was shifted to new ownership in Boston for the 1975 season.  Norris, meanwhile, kept the Tomahawks name and logo and bought the 1974 league champion Rochester Griffins franchise and moved it downstate to Long Island.

Bill Tierney LacrosseDespite the name lifted from Norris’ old Toronto club, the Long Island Tomahawks traced their history to the Griffins and you can see on their game program (above right) that they promoted themselves as the “1974 World Champions” of pro lacrosse.

Modern day box lacrosse fans are familiar with the game played on Astroturf carpets, but the National Lacrosse League of the 1970’s played on wooden courts laid over the ice at hockey arenas.  The Tomahawks’ court was painted an unusual white color, which you can see in the video below.  The league’s other teams typically played on green wooden surfaces.

The Tomahawks were the best team in the 6-team NLL during the 1975 season with a 31-17 record.  But they lost to the 4th-place Quebec Caribous 4 games to 2 in the semi-final playoff series in September 1975.  Doug Hayes (104 goals, 126 assists) led the league in scoring.

In February 1976 the National Lacrosse League went out of business, saying that only the Maryland, Philadelphia and Quebec franchises were prepared to move forward with a third season.  Pro lacrosse returned to the Nassau Coliseum in 1989 with the arrival of the New York Saints (1989-2003) of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.


Long Island Tomahawks Memorabilia


Tomahawks Video

The Long Island Tomahawks host the Philadelphia Wings at Nassau Coliseum. August 29, 1975



National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs


Written by AC

February 22nd, 2014 at 8:08 pm


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